Climate Change

Economic illiteracy in Canadian media

The Fraser Institute declares Tax Freedom Day each year. It is an inaccurate trick to further interests of the millionaires and billionaires for whom the “charity” works. Many of those people use overseas tax shelters so their personal tax freedom days fall in January.

Don’t expect Fraser Institute to mention Earth Overshoot Day,the date when we (all of humanity) have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year.”

Do not expect Canada’s mass media to pay much attention either. About 300 news people have been through the Fraser Institute’s indoctrination program for journalists and the results delight the organization.

This means Canadian news consumers will be regularly told that climate change is a secondary issue in comparison to more worthy economic priorities, like spending billions of taxpayer dollars to ensure expansion of fossil fuel production from the oil, gas and coal fields of western Canada.

Donald Gutstein reported that attendee Jonathan Sas believes the Fraser Institute’s purpose is to insert neoliberal doctrine into basic economic concepts and principles that guide corporate media reporting.

Gutstein asserts that 94 per cent of journalism graduates have no academic background in economics. Most of the rest have taken only a basic introductory course so, as a group, they are easy captures for propagandists.

However, unlike Canadian spin doctors, business people at the highest international levels are now rating climate change as a critical economic issue.

Last month Forbes Magazine published England’s HSBC Issues Stark Warning: Earth Is Running Out Of Resources To Sustain Life:

England’s largest bank, HSBC, issued a warning that governments and businesses are not prepared for climate impacts as Earth continues to run out of resources to sustain human life…

While rare for a bank to chime in on climate change and environmental management, HSBC analysts believe it’s essential to include climate risks in future financial models. According to NASA, extreme weather events and natural disasters are tied to climate change and will become more severe and regular as Earth continues to warm.

HSBC has realized that it is essential to include these events and their economic implications in planning for the future. They will impact investment decisions, regulatory frameworks, and societal changes.

HSBC is not alone among major financial institutions in planning and mitigating for climate risks. Over 315 organizations around the world support the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Companies that support TCFD are among the world’s largest financial institutions, including Bank of America, Barclays, BBVA, Citigroup, Fidelity, JPMorgan Chase, and RBC…

5 replies »

  1. Hard to imagine — but insurance companies may be some of our best friends in the push to reduce humanity’s effect on climate. Insurance companies like stability and predictability.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, the old line of “we need to grow the economy”. We have to stop “growing the economy” because that really means only a few are making all the money and the rest are going to have to deal with climate change.

    You can be sure the largest bank in G.B. is concerned. They have taken a long term view of their profits. Most North Americans take a next quarter view of business and life. Even China has gotten on board with their climate change plans.

    Part of this illiteracy works for big corporations. It was interesting to read an e-mail from Bernie Sanders, to his supporters, regarding the corporate welfare system in the U.S.A. Although Americans are told about “welfare queens” and insist people “work for their health insurance” or go without in some states, they don’t report on how Wal Mart’s low wages cost the American tax payer billions each year. Now Amazon and their low wage structure is costing the American government billions. He has a fun bill he wants to put forward. If you’re a big wealthly corporation who has employees on welfare, because the wages are so low, you get taxed to that rate. He reported that some low wage employers encourage their new employees to apply for the various welfare programs available to them, which in the U.S.A. is food stamps and housing programs.

    In Canada it is not much different. People who work full time are going to food banks. Yet their employer’s may be corporations which have profits in the billions. Some of these fast food chains like to make like its not their problem because of course its the franchisee’s problem, they’re paying the low wages, but its the corporations who is making the huge profits, not necessarily the franchisees, who actually are just middle management in the scheme of things

    People like to buy into the Fraser Institute game because it gives them some one to look down on. In Nanaimo we have had a letter to the editor being printed twice. the topic, how all those living at the homeless camp are getting for free what the “rest” of us have to work for. He is advocating no freebies. Well I didn’t see that writer advocating for no freebies for the corporations and those who can off shore their wealth. Nothing about that.

    During the course of my life I’ve listened to people complain about “welfare abuse”, ripping off U.I./.E.I. but you don’t hear about how tax avoidance, which cost the country billions is a problem. My line has always been, once they stop the 1%ers from ripping off the system which they had their friends put in place for them, I’ll talk to you about “welfare and U.I./E.I. abuse”.

    Part of the education ought to be done in high school so kids learn how the media plays the game. Usually those courses aren’t taught until university, but really, it ought to be some time in grade 7 or 8. Of course the Fraser Institute will howl that the teachers/government is indoctraitating kids with socialism. It may be about time. We are seeing American kids not viewing socialism as a dirty word. I think they have seen what their system has done to them and their parents.

    People talk about how wonderful things are in Norway. What they don’t talk about is how high the taxes are in Norway, right down to your traffic fines. They’re based on your income.. You do have to love a system like that. Billionaire, fine $10K. average worker–much lower. Of course Norway does have interesting drunk driving laws also. Zero tolerance–off to jail and in some cases the passengers also.

    if you control the media, you control the message and in Canada they’ve done very well with that routine. Trump is working on it. Hitler loved it. its time we educated our young people so they don’t wind up like aging baby boomers, blaming homeless people for their plight and suggesting they’re just freeloaders while the corporations and 1%ers don’t have to pay their fair share of taxes. On the other hand, once climate change becomes a really big problem government may become so desperate for funds, they will tax big corporations adequately sort of like they did prior to the 1970s. I love this item. Eisenhowever taxed American corporations at 80%. You gotta love it when politicians refer back to that time as America’s golden years. Yes, it was, people actually had more money in their pockets, because corporations were paying their fair share. In the 1960s corporations in Canada paid 80% of the taxes collected in Canada. then came Mulroney and it was all down hill after than and the federal Liberals stayed with the agenda also.

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